I love Groupon’s quirky advertising. Their whimsical phrases and hilarious descriptions make shopping there entertaining. And who could forget their clever unsubscribe feature that made the news.
But I digress.
One must be careful to use Groupons to actually save money, while avoiding unnecessary spending. Here are 7 guidelines to help you use Groupons as a money-saving tool.
7 Ways to Save Money with Groupons
1. Avoid Impulse Purchases
I have been watching Groupon’s website casually for over a year now and I ignore most of the deals they offer. Yet the money I save by using a few Groupons still makes it a worthwhile site to visit. And if you do have buyer’s remorse after making a purchase, you may be able to get a refund.
2. Make a Criteria List
Use a checklist before purchasing a Groupon. Consider:
Will I save money on something I was going to purchase anyway?
- I purchased $30 Groupon vouchers for only $15 to spend at Scholar’s choice. I bought several of them and saved about $65 on Christmas presents this year.
Is the driving distance to use the Groupon reasonable?
- You don’t want to spend $10 in gas to save $10 with your Groupon. Unless you are looking specifically for a unique experience like skydiving. You can also search by city to find Groupons offered closest to your house.
Is the Groupon from a reputable company?
- You may want to carefully consider buying important services such as haircuts from an unfamiliar salon. Or at least, research the salon before you make your final purchase.
Is it definitely a good deal?
- Research the price carefully to avoid paying too much for a Groupon that appears to be a good deal.
3. Read the Fine Print
There may be certain conditions you need to be aware of in the fine print. Take the time to read the details. Can you only use the Groupon on off-peak days?
4. Pay Attention to Closing Time
When you do find a Groupon that will save you money, pay close attention to when the deal ends. There will be a timer beside the description that says how many days, hours and minutes are left to purchase.
As savvy shoppers, we know advertisers use phrases like “act now” and “limited time offer” to push consumers to buy impulsively. However, if you plan to purchase a Groupon that will save you money, don’t let the purchase deadline pass.
5. Keep Using What Works
I found an amazing Groupon for Laser Tag two years ago. It allowed us to take 8 kids to play during my son’s birthday party for about 75% off. So the following year I bought this deal again for another son who was thrilled to have his birthday at the same place. If you find a deal you love, consider buying it multiple times.
6. Use it Before it Expires
One feature I appreciate about Groupon is that your voucher will always hold at least the value you paid. Of course, you will get much greater value if you use it before the expiry date. For example, if you pay $15 for a $30 voucher at a restaurant and use it past the date, it will be worth $15, not $30. But that is still better than losing its entire value.
7. Refer Friends
If you refer friends to the program, and they buy their first deal, you will earn $10 in Groupon Bucks towards future purchases. You can paste a referral link, email it, post it on facebook or tweet it. This allows you to cash in on Groupons with even further reductions.
Groupons can be a money-saving tool as long you avoid buying items you do not need, and follow the criteria you establish for purchasing wisely.
What is the best deal you have ever purchased through Groupon?